In frankly miraculous contrast to the dismal American performance on land was the activity of the U.S. Navy. The British brought to bear 1,048 vessels to blockade U.S. naval and commercial shipping in an effort to choke off the nation’s war effort. Opposed to this vast armada were the 14 seaworthy vessels of the United States Navy and a ragtag fleet of privateers. The U.S. frigates emerged victorious in a series of single-ship engagements, the most famous of which were the battles between the U.S.S. Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) and the British frigates Guerriere, off the coast of Massachusetts on August 19, 1812, and the Java, off the Brazilian coast on December 29, 1812. Despite such American triumphs, the British were able to tighten their blockade into a veritable stranglehold that wiped out American trade, bringing the U.S. economy to the verge of collapse.